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RAPID: Earthquake Debris Management in Haiti: Data-driven Decision-Support

"...Almost two months after the earthquake, many sources cite debris removal and disposal as one of the biggest challenges going forward and estimate that these activities will take more than five years to complete. Debris removal is a costly and long, complicated process requiring the careful consideration of both short and long term effects. If successful, this research will provide an integrated model that considers interactions between the decision problems in all three phases of debris management operations (clearance, collection, and disposal). These models and decision aid tools will be greatly enhanced through testing and tuning using scenarios based on the collected real data. ... ...Many Haitians are rebuilding their houses with the debris created by their original house by hand mixing a mortar. Members of the aid community have expressed a varying degree of opinions on the topic, from encouraging larger scale production of brick from reuse of debris to expressing that rebuilding with what collapsed once will lead to structural failure in the future. While in Port-au-Prince we collected many samples of mixes used by those rebuilding in order to test the quality of the mixes and determine when and how it can be properly reused. Using these collected samples we showed how proper reuse of the rubble could effectively create aggregate on par in strength with North American standards. ... " Read more: